I don't know Mark Driscoll personally, although we have mutual friends and he has helped me out professionally in a few ways, not least by endorsing my first book. He's taking a tongue-lashing recently, unsurprisingly and perhaps not undeservedly, but I'd like to offer a few words in his defense, acknowledging full well he doesn't need me to defend him.
First, since most of those blogging criticism of Mark have been leading off with all their masculine credentials -- you know, so nobody can accuse them of being personally offended by his attack of effeminacy -- let me lead off with my unmasculine credentials. :-)
I am not handy. I worked as a church maintenance man for about 6 years despite the fact I cannot fix much of anything. I can't fix your car. Or your computer for that matter. I am great at paying the home warranty bill each month and handing my credit card to the auto mechanic.
I used to be really athletic, but I'm slow and pudgy now.
I'm generally a bookish type.
I am a former stay-at-home dad.
On top of that, I have two little girls and no boys, so I see more princess movies than movies where things blow up.
Also, what is being said quite a bit is that nobody in his camp will disagree with Driscoll, that they have set up hedge of insulation where there is no taking brothers to task. This is not true. For one thing, just because brothers aren't all up tweeting and blogging like the critics doesn't mean they aren't taking each other to task behind the scenes. But of course we do have public accounts of Mark being corrected, and Mark has typically been the one to share about those. (Piper's corrective mentoring is most notable, as well as the elders who urged Mark to rethink his public image in terms of being the "cussing pastor." And there is also the apology he issued after the Ted Haggard/wives letting themselves go thing. Which of course mattered not, because critics are still slamming him for that, despite having apologized and despite the remarks in question not being aimed at Mrs. Haggard anyway.)
Secondly, for those who think "well, of course you'd defend Mark; you're a fanboy" or what-have-you: I have publicly disagreed with Mark several times, most notably on the whole "being a stay-at-home dad is a sin" thing, which my friend the late, great Internet Monk promoted so much I got nervous Mark was gonna egg my house.* But to give another example, here's another couple of disagreements I voiced a couple years back.
All that out of the way, some thoughts:
Statistically speaking, if you're reading this post, it is almost certain that Mark and his church have done more for abused women and "effeminate" men and all manner of other marginalized and victimized persons than you have. If you actually listened to his teaching on men and women, and if you actually looked into what Mars Hill Seattle does in terms of counseling and exposing/rescuing in the world of sex trafficking, you would see that "bully" is the opposite label that fits.
I know it is difficult for those predisposed to dislike Mark, for those who are salivating for him to say something needlessly controversial -- which unfortunately, he is very likely to do on any given day -- to think through the lens of charity when it comes to things Mark says, but it seemed evident to me that in the now infamous Facebook solicitation of "stories on effeminate worship leaders" he was merely highlighting a stereotype nearly all of us are aware of and indeed that others make fun of all the time. See the countless parodies and tweaking of V-necked, skinny-leg-jean wearing, emo-haired contemporary Christians on plenty of other Christian blogs. The difference is that it is Mark Driscoll who poked fun this time. When Matthew Paul Turner pokes fun, it's okay, because he's making fun of the right people.
Should Mark have said what he did? Probably not, or at least not the way he did. Effeminate worship culture is a real evangelical problem. (Doug Wilson, another "hateful misogynistic bigot," has said some good stuff on this subject himself.) But I am glad to defend his honor in this instance, while remaining free to disagree with him in the future (as I have in the past), acknowledging that the majority of his critics are predisposed to read him in the worst possible light and would like nothing more if he had no voice at all. But speaking as one fairly un-macho guy, I am proud to call Mark my brother in Christ, and I am grateful eternally for the way God used his preaching and ministry to keep me from committing suicide several years ago and build in my heart gospel wakefulness. Mark was not a bully to me, but a balm.
* The Internet Monk site is currently down. They've been having some hacking issues recently. If/when it's back up, I will link to the post(s) mentioned.